If your travel plans have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, don’t worry. Here is a comprehensive guide with the help of theaa.ie to make sure that you can claim your travel insurance utterly free of any stress or hassle.
Who to contact first
Usually, travel insurance is considered as a final resort. Therefore, you should attempt to seek some refunds before you try and make a claim. Most travel agents, airlines and accommodation options should reimburse travellers if the pandemic impacts them. Yet, as we have seen in recent months, many travelers were only given a chance to claim something in the form of credit notes or vouchers instead.
You might be wondering at this stage whether you can decline a voucher, and claim cash from your insurer, yet unfortunately, many insurers do not offer this option. Anyway, you should phone up your insurer first to try and claim some money before you accept any vouchers.
What exactly can I claim for?
The exact amount that you can claim for will vary depending on what exactly is covered in your policy. Therefore you should always make sure to check a copy of your documentation. Most of these documents are likely to have some kind of “policy wording” section, which covers the reasons and situations in which your insurer may accept or reject your claim. Other sections that may be worth looking at include the ‘cancellation’ section, and additional details on ‘abandonment’ and ‘travel disruption’ also may be helpful to you.
“But I cancelled based off government advice”
The ABI claim that most policyholders should be eligible to claim when FCO advice has led to a trip with being curtailed or cancelled. But unfortunately, this won’t be the case in all of your policies, so always make sure to double-check with your insurance provider first. Both the location and the timing of the trip are crucially important here. For example, travel warnings to specific countries were sent out long before the 17th of March, to places such as Iran, China and Italy.
What if I have to self isolate?
If you have received medical advice which instructs you directly not to travel, then this should be sufficient grounds for you to make a claim. The only problem that you may come across is, of course, actually providing adequate evidence to support your claim.
However, recently, members of the ABI have acknowledged the practical difficulties in obtaining medical evidence, and encourage them to consider other forms of evidence to prove their illness. Additionally, some policies may offer cover for the costs of being sick when abroad, and some may even protect for the time that has to be spent in quarantine.
What Can I do about trips in the future?
Momentarily, almost no policies, including pre-existing ones, are likely to cover you if you decide to book a trip now. Once the WHO declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic, most insurance companies began to rule ignore it when it came to new policies and trips.
We understand that you might be a little bit uncertain about paying still paying instalments for trips in the future. However, this is where you must tread carefully, by withholding any payments on your holiday, you may breach the agreement between you and your holiday provider, and risk losing the deposit that you have already paid.
If you are stuck in this situation, the best option is to contact both the insurer and your holiday provider so that you can check all of your options and act based off the advice that they give you.
What do I do if my insurer goes bust?
If your insurer goes bust, you shouldn’t worry. Insurers will be expected to pay out £275 million in claims related to this global pandemic. If your insurance provider operates in the UK, your policy will be protected by the FSCS. This is a scheme that can guarantee 90% of all outstanding insurance claims if your provider goes bust.
What else can I do to protect myself?
Here are some top tips which are worth keeping in mind for future claims.
1)Make your claim straight away
When it comes to making a travel insurance claim, the essential thing that you must keep in mind is to make your claim as quickly as possible. Most policies are likely to have a firm limit for making claims. Therefore, the best option would be to call your provider straight away. This is particularly the case with medical applications because some providers may request to check with you before you get treated.
2) Make sure not to miss out if your airline goes bust
Should your airline go bust, travel insurance can help you. This is particularly applicable in a situation where you have bought hotels and flights separately, as opposed to a regular package holiday. Once again, checking your policy to make sure that it covers financial failure.
3. Stand up for yourself if your claim is rejected
Just because an insurer has rejected your claim, it doesn’t mean that the battle has been lost. You can raise a complaint with your insurance provider, and if that is denied again, you can bring it to the Financial Ombudsman Services, who will approve a ruling, utterly free of cost.